General News of Thursday, 27 February 2020
Planned maintenance works on the Electricity Company of Ghana’s 6,623 transformers within the Greater Accra Region have been put on hold.
The maintenance works will be carried out after ongoing works on the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) are completed next month.
This, according to the Managing Director of the ECG, Kwame Agyeman-Budu, is to reduce the day-time power outages the region has been experiencing since the shutdown of the transformers.
In an interview with Daily Graphic, Mr Agyeman-Budu noted the WAGP works has also been interrupting upstream power generation, hence the need to halt the ECG maintenance until the former completed.
Mr Agyeman-Budu explained that the country is recording a deficit in power supply because the West African Gas Company Limited (WAPCo) has cut the supply of gas to the Volta River Authority since January due to ongoing cleaning and inspection of its offshore pipeline from Nigeria.
He said about 15 power generation companies in the country are producing below their installed capacities due to the effect the gas supply cut has on upstream power generation.
“We have enough installed capacity, but the challenge is with the ‘dependable’, that means the power has been generated and is available, but as a result of the cut in gas supply, there are challenges with fuelling and some of the plants are down,” he said.
“The power generation companies are unable to supply us with enough power to distribute in real-time. What it means is that we don’t have the luxury of being informed that, for example, tomorrow we are going to have a deficit of 100 megawatts (MW), so that we can plan with that and inform our customers,” he added.
Even though scheduled maintenance works on ECG transformers are carried out regularly, the MD said, avoiding such outages would serve as an ‘incentive’ to customers who might be experiencing erratic power supply due to the deficit in upstream power generation.